Social TV Week in Review: Times Are A Changin’

If you’re tuned in to the TV space there are a lot of great things to watch. More and more, networks are releasing their shows early or exclusively via online platforms (The Mindy Project on Hulu, Ben and Kate on Facebook, Smash on iTunes, Suit Up on Yahoo!, Raising Hope on Twitter etc.). Á la Alan Wurtzel’s ‘billion-dollar Olympic experiment’, many are betting that the online buzz from the type A viewer will drive ratings around linear debuts. It’s an interesting new delivery model that has networks testing their limits in the digital age.

The traditional networks aren’t the only ones experimenting…

Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, even Xbox and Nintendo, are all looking to create their own content and move it across their own channels. When Netflix launched Lilly Hammer they didn’t just release a single episode premiere, they dumped the entire season online, all in one go. Companies like Netflix don’t have to play by the same rules as ad supported networks, nor do they have to mimic subscription cable services such as HBO.

It doesn’t stop at delivery…

As new players enter the space, they continue to shake up the establishment at all levels. YouTube’s director of product management, Shiva Rajaraman, suggests the 15 or 30-second spot is an anachronism of traditional TV. Branded content? Incentivized engagement? – are these the tools of the new marketer?

Apps are fanning the flames…

According to Adweek a new app called Matcha, “has already partnered with Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and Comcast’s Xfinity to provide users with access to 200,000 movie and TV titles they can elect to watch on the big screen or in some cases within the app itself”. When the networks and larger companies leave consumers wanting more, nimble start-ups rush to fill the gaps. Second screen experiences are moving beyond check-ins and sharing, to now offering discovery, recommendation, personalization and even their own original content.

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